The greatest wealth is to live content with little.
I currently have about 20 items in my summer, stay at home, capsule wardrobe.
2 jeans, 2 shorts, 2 tank tops, 2 pairs of shoes, 10 tops, and 1 dress – the dress is not pictured because I did not want to take these photos in the nude (although if that is your thing, more power to you.) Check out my Instagram for styled outfits, and the dress.
I’m often asked, “Is that really all you wear? What about when you play with Miles? Don’t you get bored? ARE YOU SURE THAT’S IT!?”
Yes, this is it. I average about 25 items each season in my capsules. One thing that makes my number so low is that I do not need to dress “fancy” for work. I have a small conference capsule wardrobe that is obviously tucked away for now.
And yes, I wear these items to play with Miles. I don’t mind the occasional grass stain, or paint mark. They are all removed easily enough.
For March and the beginning of April, I did not have a capsule. Like many others. I was surviving. Trying to find my way in this new world. Dressing in leggings and pajamas and never “getting ready” for the day. It was rare that I would even brush my teeth before noon.
I do not regret living this way for a while. I was doing my very best. Trying to figure out how to work full time and be a single mama. I cried a lot and I worried. I wondered how long I could go on this tired and lonely, unable to see my family and friends, the people that give so much meaning to my life. How long could I take care of this little one alone, without my village there to help me?
And then, a shift. A phone call from one of the wisest and most powerful women in my life, a woman who showed me that I could be kind and set boundaries. I can be gentle and strong. That yes, most people are doing their very best, but not everyone in this world has good intentions.
She reminded me that I am full of light. That I have come through worse than this. That the people I was letting take parts of me did not hold them well. She noticed that I had forgotten myself for a little while, and she helped me remember.
People do that for me over and over. Listen and love and remind me of who I am, remind me that I know myself better than anyone. My sister, my friends, my auntie, my mentors, myself. Keep close the people that really see you.
I’ve started getting ready each day, with the beautiful items in my summer capsule, because it helps me remember who I am. Clothes have that power, you know? They hold the power to uplift you, to impact your thoughts and your mood. All the things around you do. Your home, your clothes, your words.
When I have a small, curated number of items to choose from, I lessen the decision fatigue. I add simplicity and quality.
In the morning, I cleanse my face, do my hair, moisturize, brush my teeth, and step into my chosen items for the day. Instantly I feel more capable and ready to do this life.
“You don’t have to solve your whole life overnight. And you don’t have to feel ashamed for being where you are. All you have to focus on is one small thing you can do today to get closer to where you want to be. Slowly and lightly, one step at a time. You can get there.” Daniell Koepke
Bonnie Rae xx
If you want to plan your own capsule, these might help:
The people at my gym annoyed me – were they staring at me? They need to go so I have space. I need a home gym, why do I even keep this membership?
I hate my office. People are so in my face, they interrupt, I feel their negative energy, I just want to work from home but I have to be here.
I was always grateful to Ms. Barbara. Raising my baby with me. But Miles and I were rushed. I was exhausted by the time I picked him up, so sweet and loving to him, but really I only had a few hours a day with him and two days every other weekend.
I missed so much. I missed his smiles and his questions. His kisses and cuddles. His smells and giggles. His dislikes and demands.
I am so grateful for this time. I will come out of this better and stronger and wiser somehow. I have done uncertainty before. I have survived my life shattering on the floor like glass before, growing stronger as I put it back together – more beautiful than before.
Still, at times, my gratitude and privilege make me sick. Each moment of meditation or wealth makes me feel guilt and shame like I have never felt before- how do I have so much in this time while a majority have nothing? Less than nothing.
How did we get like this? So far from equality. So far from freedom. Tied to wages. Tied to debt. Tied to this capitalist system I hate.
My heart is breaking, not for me, for everyone else. For a system that fails the majority of beings – humans and animals and our earth.
I do what I can. I turn my heartbreak into action. Into donations, support of local businesses, food bank support, cards sent with messages of love and support.
My heart still breaks. But I notice the good. I do not look for the stories of darkness and hate. I follow the light. There are so many people coming together, giving and caring. More than I’ve ever seen.
People are waking up. The angry, protesting few are outnumbered by the hopeful, caring many.
We can do this. We can come out wiser, moving slower, remembering what we miss. Not stuff and things and the business of it all.
We miss the hugs, the family, the friends- the love.
Here are some of the things getting me by this week, when we’re all a little low, a little hopeful, a little uncertain.
This podcast. The Ikonns are a couple who always put mindfulness and gratitude at the forefront of all they do. This podcast episode allowed me to unburden myself. To accept what is, because that’s all we can do. I know that it is a privilege to think of this time as a growth moment, as an opportunity. So far in my life- all the horrific hardship that has come has been meant for me. And with each step, my life has become more beautiful. A combination of happenings that I would not have chosen, and the decision to grow anyway.
This show. If you have access to Hulu, watch Little Fires Everywhere. Some parts cause heartache, but I come out of each episode with a different understanding of the world. A moment of escape and learning, all at once.
This book. Oh my. Glennon Doyle is…perfection. She understands women, and the shared experience of women, on a guttural level. As I read this book I wept, and I laughed. I understood myself more. I found myself in her story. I also know that this is a book that could awaken you to some unhappiness or discomfort in your life. If I had read it a year or two ago, I would have ached for change. The fact that it will awaken your soul and your deepest desire, however, is the exact reason you need to read it.
This youtube. My sister shared this youtube account with me of the most magical Irish woman who lives simply in her little cottage. She focuses on less waste, simple living, and living with nature instead of against it. The first week of quarantine and self-isolation, I watched her non-stop and it brought such peace and calm.
I’ve also found so much joy in getting outside. Building a garden and a compost has given me time away from my phone, away from my computer, with nothing to think about but caring for our sweet little plants and digging my hands in the dirt.